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82 Officers Receive LAPD’s Purple Heart Award

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Eighty-two officers were honored Thursday at an inaugural Purple Heart ceremony held to recognize officers for acts of bravery resulting in injury or death in the past 90 years.

Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck was among those on hand for the ceremony at J.W. Marriott at LA Live in the downtown Los Angeles area.

Recipients of the award date back to 1921.

The honorees included:

– Detective Arleigh McCree and Officer Ronald Ball, members of the bomb squad, who died on Feb. 8, 1986. McCree and Ball had gone to a home in North Hollywood that was being searched in connection with a shooting. They were killed while attempting to defuse two booby-trapped pipe bombs found in a garage.

– Officer Tina Kerbrat, the first female officer to be killed in the line of duty, who died on Feb. 11, 1991. Kerbrat was gunned down when she and her training officer stopped to talk to a man in Sun Valley whom they recognized as a possible criminal. When they stopped their patrol car, the man opened fire on them, fatally wounding Kerbrat, whose partner shot and killed the suspect.

– Officer Randal Simmons, the first SWAT team member killed in the line of duty, who died on Feb. 7, 2008. Simmons was fatally shot as he and fellow SWAT officers entered a Winnetka home where a man who had shot and killed three relatives was holed up. A fellow SWAT officer was wounded but survived. The gunman was killed by other officers.

The Purple Heart Award Ceremony was hosted by the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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